The Server was not found or was not accessible: A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server


SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment for managing any SQL infrastructure, from SQL Server to Azure SQL Database. SSMS provides tools to configure, monitor, and administer instances of SQL servers and databases. You can use SSMS to query, design, and manage your databases and data warehouses, wherever they are on your local computer, or in the cloud. Please see some related MSSQL guides I have written. What are the differences between various Editions of Microsoft SQL Server, how to install MSSQL Server 2019 Developer Edition and SSMS on Windows, and how to download and install Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Express edition and SSMS.

You may run into the following error “a network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The Server was not found or was not accessible” .

Note: There are multiple causes for this failure, but in my lab, it was because the SQL Server Service isn’t running. Below is the following error that was prompted.


Click launch the services.msc via the run command, or from the Server Manager, under Tools, or from the Administrative Tools. There are many other ways to launch this tool.
– As you can see below, the service isn’t running.


To resolve this issue, we need to have the service started. To do this, right click on the SQL Sever server and click on start or use the start button on the extended sidebar etc.


Now that the service has started, launch the SSMS once again and try to connect to the SQL Server.


As you can see, we have eliminated the error and can now access the SQL Server.


I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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